International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP, is a popular family restaurant chain known for its wide selection of breakfast items, including pancakes, waffles, French toast, and omelettes. However, many diners have noticed that the omelettes at IHOP tend to be quite high in calories compared to omelettes served at other restaurants.
What makes IHOP omelettes high in calories?
There are a few key reasons why IHOP omelettes contain significantly more calories than you may expect:
- Large portions – IHOP omelettes are very large, often containing 3-4 eggs and generous portions of fillings and toppings. The large portion sizes result in more calories.
- High-fat ingredients – Common omelette fillings like cheese, bacon, sausage, ham, and butter are high in saturated fat and calories. Using multiple fatty fillings drives up the calorie count.
- Cooking methods – IHOP cooks their omelettes in butter on a flat grill, adding extra fat and calories compared to omelettes cooked without added butter.
- Side dishes – IHOP omelettes are served with calorie-laden sides like pancakes, hash browns, and biscuits as part of a combo. The additional sides mean more calories.
- Serving style – Unlike some places that serve half omelettes, IHOP omelettes are folded and served as a whole large omelette. The full-size preparation contains 2-3 times the calories of a half omelette.
So in summary, the large portion sizes, fatty ingredients, cooking methods, side dishes, and serving style all contribute to pushing up the calorie counts into ranges of 800-1400 calories for a single IHOP omelette.
Calorie counts for popular IHOP omelettes
To demonstrate just how high the calories get in IHOP omelettes, here is a look at the calorie counts for some of their most popular offerings:
|Big Steak Omelette
|Bacon Temptation Omelette
|Chicken Fajita Omelette
|Simple & Fit Veggie Omelette
As you can see, most standard IHOP omelettes contain around 1000 calories or more. The only lower calorie option is the Simple & Fit omelette designed to be lighter.
Comparing IHOP omelette calories to other restaurants
To put IHOP’s omelette calories into perspective, let’s compare them against the omelette offerings from some other popular breakfast chains:
|Big Steak Omelette
|Ham & Cheese Omelette
Looking at the comparison, you can see most standard omelettes from the other chains range between 500-900 calories. IHOP’s options are consistently much higher, with most exceeding 1000 calories. So IHOP’s recipes and preparation methods clearly result in omelettes with significantly more calories compared to competitors.
Tips for ordering a lower calorie IHOP omelette
If you love IHOP but want a more diet-friendly omelette, here are some tips to order a lower calorie version:
- Choose egg whites instead of whole eggs. This removes the yolks high in fat and cholesterol.
- Opt for lean fillings like chicken, veggies, or shrimp instead of fatty meats and cheese.
- Request any sauce or butter be served on the side.
- Skip the hash browns, pancakes, or biscuit side and choose fruit instead.
- Order a half omelette or child size. You’ll get the great taste for fewer calories.
- Pick the Simple & Fit omelette or build your own with just egg whites and veggies.
Following these tips can help you enjoy an IHOP omelette without breaking your diet!
Healthier omelette options at IHOP
In recent years, IHOP has expanded their menu to offer some more diet-friendly omelette options. Here are a few of the healthier choices available:
- Simple & Fit Veggie Omelette – Made with egg whites, tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, and mushrooms. 670 calories.
- Simple & Fit Chicken Fajita Omelette – Egg whites with chicken breast strips, peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach, and fat-free fajita sauce. 720 calories.
- Simple & Fit Ham & Cheese Omelette – Includes lean ham, reduced fat Swiss cheese, onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes. 810 calories.
- Egg White Chicken Fajita Omelette – Made purely with egg whites and chicken fajita fillings. A relatively low 500 calories.
Focusing on these Simple & Fit or egg white omelette options can cut at least 200-400 calories compared to a standard IHOP omelette while still letting you enjoy the flavors.
Making lower calorie omelettes at home
While you can customize orders at IHOP, making omelettes at home gives you full control over the ingredients and portions. Here are some tips for lightening up your homemade omelettes:
- Use one whole egg + two egg whites instead of two or three whole eggs.
- Try spray oils instead of cooking in butter or oil.
- Fill with lots of low-cal veggies like mushrooms, peppers, spinach, etc.
- Use reduced-fat cheese in small amounts or skip cheese altogether.
- Load up on fresh herbs, spices, salsa or hot sauce for flavor instead of fatty toppings.
- Make your omelette as a “breakfast burrito” in a whole wheat tortilla instead of folding in eggs.
With some simple substitutions and veggie-focused fillings, you can easily make satisfying omelettes at home for around 300 calories or less. Way lighter than an 1100+ calorie IHOP Big Steak Omelette!
Should you avoid IHOP omelettes if you’re diet conscious?
Based on their high calorie counts, are IHOP omelettes a food you should steer clear of if you’re watching your weight? Not necessarily. The key is being an informed customer and ordering wisely.
Here are some thoughts on enjoying IHOP omelettes moderately as part of a healthy diet:
- Order one of the lower calorie Simple & Fit or egg white omelettes.
- Share a regular omelette with someone else to control portions.
- Get a half omelette and pair it with fruit instead of hash browns.
- Treat yourself to their signature omelettes occasionally instead of weekly.
- Balance out the higher calorie omelette with lighter meals the rest of the day.
- Focus most of your meals on lean protein, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats.
An occasional indulgence in a higher calorie menu item you really enjoy is totally fine – just balance it out with healthier choices the majority of the time.
IHOP’s omelettes clearly contain significantly more calories than omelettes you may make at home or order at other restaurants. The large portions, high-fat fillings, cooking methods and serving style all boost the calorie counts up into the range of 1000-1400 per omelette. However, by customizing your order, choosing lighter options like egg whites or veggie omelettes, and being mindful of portions, you can still work IHOP’s famous omelettes into your healthy diet. Being an informed consumer about menu nutrition and calories allows you to enjoy your favorites in moderation.